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Williams (nee Whyte), Mrs Elizabeth

After the departure of Joseph Edgar in 1877, there was no teacher for three years.

'...community action resulted in a public meetings at Francis William's home. The meeting resulted in a letter being sent to the Council of Education requesting a public school for some 35 children who were not receiving any education. The community had repaired the Chapel in anticipation of the school reopening. In October 1880 'Lizzie' Whyte was appointed and started teaching at the Sutton Provisional school.

The first woman in the post, Lizzie Whyte was born in Ireland. She departed Plymouth on 4th September 1879 on the steamship 'Strathleven' carrying 153 single women, paying a fare of ₤14/12/6. She arrived in Sydney on 27th October 1879 and was listed as a female servant who could read and write, and a Presbyterian. After arriving in Sutton and being appointed teacher at the school, Lizzie married James Williams, son of Francis Williams, at St Lukes church, Upper Gundaroo. James and Lizzie had six children.

She was twenty there years old and had only been in the colony for six months when appointed. She was a competent teacher and enrolments continued to increase. Sutton became a Public School on 22nd November 1881........The building was an urgent problem; the old Chapel was in constant need of substantial repair, but Departmental funds for maintenance were not available. It was not, after all, a public building. However, correspondence initiated by Francis Williams led to a new building being erected near the Chapel.

The family moved to Collector in 1894. She died in 1933 at the age seventy-eight and is buried at Rowes Hill Church of England cemetery, Lower Mittagong.

[Edited extract from McNeill, A, and Walker, A. 2019. Sutton Stories. In the words of locals. 150 years 1867-2017. Sutton and District Community Association. p.28].

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